A saying goes, “Health is wealth,” apparently, this is true in many aspects. As time goes by, treatments for several health conditions are getting more expensive. Without getting regular medical advice from your primary care provider, you put yourself at risk of underlying illnesses that get worse over time. As Health on 21 advises, check-ups are essential to ensure that you are healthy and safe from diseases.
How Often Should You Visit The Doctor
According to specialists, the frequency of routine checkups will depend on your age, risk factors, and health conditions.
Different experts share different opinions about this matter, but ideally, an adult in good health and under 50 years of age must have regular checkups once every 3 years.
Meanwhile, adults 51 years above should get medical advice once a year.
Individuals diagnosed with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, or arthritis need to visit their doctors more frequently.
For a more accurate visit recommendation, please consult your doctor as they will base it according to your age, health, and physical test results.
Benefits Of A Regular Checkup
Going on a regular checkup helps you in avoiding several diseases and keeping yourself safe from catching them. Your doctor will not only examine if you are physically healthy, but they also provide medical advice to their patients, which helps them understand preventative measures.
Some of the important benefits of visiting your doctor regularly include the following:
- early diagnosis of possible life-threatening health conditions before they get worse
- early treatments for the diagnosed health issue, which makes the outcome more favorable
- professional monitoring of prevailing illnesses lowering their chance of getting severe
- you get the first seat for new vaccines and modern screening examinations
- keeps you safe from spending money on expensive treatments and procedures
- promotes a good relationship with your healthcare physician, this is essential in maintaining good health as you age
- you will get educated on how to live healthily, giving you a happier and longer life
What To Expect
Regular checkups are meant to help people stay healthy and safe from diseases. Doctors design the particulars that should be included in the procedure. During your regular checkup, your doctor will primarily check and update the following:
- medical history
- list of your allergies and current medication
- if available, your family’s medical history
- vaccines and screening tests you had
Generally, all patients are screened for the following health conditions:
- overweight, according to your body mass index
- effects of smoking, if you are a chain smoker
- high blood pressure
- excessive consumption of alcohol
- improper use of drugs
- anxiety and depression
- HIV, for people at risk of the infection
- hepatitis, a common disease in patients born between 1945 and 1965
- colorectal cancer
- lung cancer
- immune system strength
- type 2 diabetes, if the patient family history shows the disease
Additional Screening Tests
Your doctor might also recommend additional screening tests according to gender.
- physical screening for marital or partner violence
- breast cancer screening (women aging between 50-74)
- cervical cancer screening
- cholesterol screening
- osteoporosis screening
- for men aging between 65-75, an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
- prostate exam, although this isn’t typically recommended
- cholesterol screening
How Regular Checkups Conclude
Before bringing you to the office of your primary care provider, you will be asked by a nurse or medical staff with a round of questions with regards to your health condition. Several things will be asked of you, which will be added to your medical history files.
Questions to answer:
- Do you have allergies?
- Have you had surgeries? If yes, when and what kind of surgeries?
- Do you have unusual symptoms?
- How do you feel physically?
- Are you a smoker?
- Do you drink alcohol? If yes, how often?
- Do you exercise?
- Are you conscious about the foods you eat?
Your answer to these questions will help your physician determine if specific screenings are needed.
After this, the nurse will assist you to your doctor’s office, and the examination will begin. Typically, the regular checkup will begin with your doctor conducting a body inspection. You will be asked to sit, stand, or lie down during this procedure as your doctor will check for physical marks or unusual growths in your body.
If you are asked to lie down, your doctor is already starting to check your internal organs. Your doctor will examine the size, location, tenderness, and consistency of your internal organs at this point.
The next step will include the use of a stethoscope. Moving on, your physician will check your heartbeat, lungs, as well as your intestines. This will then be followed by the method popularly known as percussion. In this stage, the doctor will tap certain parts of your body to check if fluids are flowing in restricted areas.
Other Regular Checkup Procedures:
- Checking of height, weight, pulse
- Women will most likely be advised to do a pap smear
- Checking of eyes, nose, ears, and mouth
After the tests and screenings, your doctor will discuss the results with you personally. They will inform you if you need more screenings and if you are at risk of certain diseases. If needed, you will be given medication for a period of time.
It’s important to be open and honest with your physician during the regular checkup. This will help them to know which areas to focus on and determine if what possible complications you may have.
Be sure to share the odd symptoms and irregularities you are experiencing. Additionally, avoid sugarcoating your kind of lifestyle.